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Art Major

Art is about looking at and thinking about the world around you in a new, and different, way. The world needs more artistic, unique thinkers.

At MVNU, Art majors spend four years honing their talents in preparation for further study in a graduate program or for a career as a practicing artist, writer, photographer, illustrator, gallery owner, art historian, K–12 art educator, or one of a number of other artistic careers.

During their first two years, students complete the foundation program, working in a variety of mediums, while learning broadly about art history. In their final two years, students concentrate on developing a body of work informed by contemporary aesthetic discourse. Senior Art majors are given personal studio space and individual instruction from professors. The program culminates with a senior show in MVNU’s professional Schnormeier Gallery, a space that has exhibited the work of professional and nationally recognized artists.

Many students consider double majoring in Art and Graphic Design. At MVNU, these programs are compatibly designed to enhance your abilities in both disciplines.

  • Art and intellect — As an MVNU Art major, you will go through the same rigorous training that you would at a school specialized for art, while simultaneously gaining a liberal arts education. You will develop both your creative skills and your academic mind, resulting in a double dose of preparation for life after college.
  • Accomplished faculty – MVNU’s art faculty are professional artists trained from some of the top MFA programs in the nation. They regularly exhibit at the national and international level.
  • Immersive learning — Biannual travel course to Italy as well as regular trips to national museums and galleries in New York City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Cincinnati, give students the opportunity to experience the best art available internationally. You will develop a firsthand understanding of the most iconic art in the world, giving you an extensive framework to create the iconic art of the future.
  • Professional exhibitions — When you are an MVNU Art major, the very building in which you will be learning and creating, Buchwald Center, features a professional gallery Schnormeier Gallery, which will someday display your work during your Senior Art Exhibition. This means a goal to work toward during your time in the Art program: real-world professional exhibition experience.

Check out the catalog for a complete list of the requirements, courses, and objectives for the Art program!

The Buchwald Center, MVNU’s 32,000 square foot art and design building, is located in friendly downtown Mt. Vernon, just a few miles from main campus. The Buchwald boasts warm, sunny spaces that feed creativity and bear the scars of the artistic process. Each artist and designer that passes through its doors finds places to call their own.

Whether you’re creating a digital piece on an i-Mac in the Mac lab, setting up an installation for a show in the exquisite Schnormeier Gallery, or throwing a piece of pottery on one of the wheels in the ceramics studio, you will be working on your craft in a space that inspires.

Imagine walking the streets of Rome where St. Paul walked, floating down a Venetian canal, seeing the art of the Sistine Chapel, exploring the ancient site of Pompeii, experiencing Sorrento with its romantic cliff-side setting and discovering the modern and ancient sites of Italy from the Coliseum to Cathedrals to museums. Oh, plus there's great food and amazing coffee.

As an MVNU Art major, there’s no need to imagine — you can take in the wonders of Italy for yourself during spring break, and even get course credit for it!

All MVNU students are also invited to participate in our many other service and learning trips.

All Art students are eligible for the competitive Esther Buchwald Art Scholarships and Awards. Five scholarships are awarded to five individual Art students annually. Students from any class may submit work, including incoming students. One student from each class will be awarded the scholarship. 

Seniors in the MVNU Art program are eligible for the Crispin Webb Art Endowed Scholarship.

MVNU also has many endowed scholarships available for students of a wide variety of backgrounds and majors.

Maybe you’ll go on to get your Master of Fine Arts degree. More than 90 percent of MVNU Art graduates who apply for graduate MFA programs are accepted. Multiple MVNU alumni have been accepted into the Art Institute of Chicago’s Masters of Fine Arts programs — one of the most prestigious and selective programs in the nation.

Or perhaps you’ll integrate art into your career, as many of our alumni have. MVNU Art grads are fulltime artists, art educators, graphic and web designers, business salespeople, creative services directors, filmmakers, professional photographers, and more. What will you do with your Art degree?

MVNU art majors have been accepted into graduate programs at:

  • The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
  • Bard College
  • The Ohio State University
  • The University of Florida
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Parsons School of Art and Design
  • Newcastle University, England
  • University of Georgia
  • Tyler School of Art
  • Pratt Institute of Art
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
For more info
Schnormeier Gallery